Acceptance in Contract Act
Proposal + Acceptance = Promise
According to section 2(b) of the Indian Contract Act, when the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent thereto (to that), the proposal is said to be accepted.
A proposal, when accepted, becomes a promise.
According to William Anson, “An acceptance is like a stick of matchbox in front of a truck of gunpowder.”
Essentials of Acceptance
1. Acceptance should be communicated by the offeree to the offeror.
Related Case: Felt house vs. Bindley
2. Acceptance should be absolute and unqualified.
For a valid acceptance, it is also essential that acceptance should be absolute and unqualified. When the acceptance includes the negotiations, or in other words, the acceptor does not accept the whole condition of the offer, and he makes another condition on it, then it becomes a counter-offer.
Section 7 of Contract Act provides that to convert a proposal into a promise, the acceptance must be absolute and unqualified.
3. Acceptance should be made in some usual and reasonable manner unless the proposal prescribes the manner of acceptance.
4. Acceptance should be made while the offer is still subsisting.
5. No need for acceptance in general offer. Only performance is enough.
6. Acceptance must be express or implied.
An Acceptance With Variation Is No Acceptance, But Simply A Counter-Offer: A counter-offer puts an end to the original offer and cannot be revived by subsequent acceptance unless renewed.
Communication Of Acceptance To A Wrong Person
It has already been noted that the offerer becomes bound as soon as the letter of acceptance is posted to him. If the letter of acceptance is posted at a wrong address or to a wrong person, that will not bind the offerer.
You may like to read:
1. Chapter I of Indian Contract Act
2. Essential Elements of a Valid Contract.